Somerset Tax Professional Explores: The Loneliest Road
October 17, 2011
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
– Effie Jones
Maybe that old quote above wasn’t *really* by the civil rights leader, Effie Jones, but hey — Google says it’s true. And today — as I write, it’s October 17th — we’re knee-deep in extension paperwork (the deadline is today). But that doesn’t mean I won’t take the time to whip something together for you, and my business owner clients and contacts. I’ll have a few more thoughts for you in the ensuing weeks about setting up your business (and personal) finances for maximum 2011 tax savings. But in the meantime, I’ve been recently reminded about “the loneliest job on the planet” — being an entrepreneur. This doesn’t apply to all of my clients, but I do know that lying within EACH of my business clients is this latent entrepreneur.
So, if you’ve ever had a thirst for starting something on the side, or perhaps you’re in the midst of something like that, here are my thoughts on how to make it really work…
Mark Clark’s “Real World” Business Strategy Clark’s Entrepreneurship Keys
In years past, being an “entrepreneur” could carry a negative connotation. The general public (or “civilians”, as one of my business owner friends refers to them) associated business owners with insanity. After all, who would invest everything they had into running a business that may or may not succeed?
Well, as I mentioned last week, Steve Jobs did a great deal to change all of that. Business ownership is now a badge of courage-something to be admired. In this economy especially, “business opportunity” companies are thriving. But here’s something you may be surprised to hear me say about these folks: Too many of the “new” generation of entrepreneurs want to play it safe. They start a part-time company while still holding a regular day job. Or, they invest a little bit of money into a company, and back out when things become too difficult. If this describes you, I have a little bit of news. You are a risk taker. Whether you would consider yourself one or not, you’re an entrepreneur…and therefore a risk taker. You took a risk in starting your company. But are you holding back to the point where you’re stunting your growth? Well, I can relate–I’ve never been known as a “free-wheeler”, but I’ve learned a few things over the years about risk–and reward.
So here are a few “big picture” concepts you can use to guide your risk-taking decisions and still see large returns:
- Invest in your education. The wisest entrepreneurs read about the success/failures of others, and plan accordingly.
- Invest in a system. If you do not understand the importance of having a system in your company, read Michael Gerber’s books (The E-Myth series). But, I think you probably inherently understand how critical it is to make your business “scalable”.
- Invest in sales and marketing automation. Marketing is the key to growing your business. And, automation is a way to run your company while you work on growing your company.
Rather than investing in expensive sales people, figure out a way to make sales online, or through other advertising media … in a systematic, “hands free” sort of way. If you’re not taking risks, you will certainly not see the rewards of your efforts. Take the time to analyze the level of the risks you might be taking. But realize that without being willing to go out on a limb once in a while, you will never see the rewards you dream of.